Cancer & the Fourth House –
building independent personal foundations
by Jef Bartow
During the latter half of adolescence, our developing sense of identity and self represented by the Sun begins to become internalized. Major changes in our home life and family relatedness help us to establish stable emotional structures as we prepare to leave the nest. These major changes are very important in how we begin to find security and our own self through independent personal foundations. This critical period of life is represented astrologically by crossing over the Nadir (fourth house cusp) and into another quadrant of life experience. This period in life is strongly influenced by Cancer, our fourth house activities and the ruler of Cancer, the Moon. Cancer is a cardinal water sign. Similar to Aries, Cancer’s cardinal qualities provide us with an acute, active and resourceful orientation during high school and early college years. The natural tendencies of water also help us to become more reflective, empathetic, sensitive, vulnerable and protective, both in family matters, with peers and in personal relationships. For the majority of us, the beginning of romantic relationships and decisions about our future life after high school become catalysts in necessary changes in home life and with family. For Cancer Sun sign individuals (June 20-July 19), both cardinal assertiveness and water’s sensitivity and protectiveness are innate. Without much effort, you're easily warm, nurturing and intuitive, but can also be moody, dependent and possessive. This power of Cancer helps you to fulfill your need to feel and to find security in yourself by building independent personal foundations.
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Cancer’s ruler, the Moon, represents our instinctive nature, our unconscious habit patterns and our ability to adapt to life experiences. For most of us, some of our most significant changes in life happen at the end of high school or college. Whatever sign and house our Moon resides in at birth shows how we will approach these changes and what type of other activities will be important in this major transition. As outlined above, the fourth house activities of our home life, our parents, our developing inner foundations of life and our emotional stability are very important now. Usually, developing our inner foundations and emotional stability comes with rebellion to both authority and the expectation that we live based on our conditioning. To varying degrees this need to separate evidenced by rebellion upsets the natural flow at home and with parents. Daddy's little girl and mama’s boy need to grow up and develop their own sense of independence. By looking at your own natal chart and which sign and planets are in the fourth house will demonstrate how you approach home, family and your sense of inner independence. For example, with Taurus on the fourth house cusp, you would naturally tend to be practical, realistic and resourceful in dealing with your family and parents. You will also be fairly stubborn, materialistic and fixed when you don't get your way.
By approaching this part of your life with the needs of Taurus, building your inner foundation for life can be accelerated. In this case, it is by gaining a sense of self-worth through producing tangible results practically (needs of Taurus). This could be evidenced by how you help redecorate your home or build a new addition or even help your younger sibling or child get better grades, all things that help build a better home and family life.
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